Navigation Links
Humble garden pea helps Kew scientists develop 'cool,' noninvasive diagnostic test of seed quality
Date:2/1/2010

Scientists from Kew's Millennium Seed Bank in the United Kingdom and the University of Graz, Austria, have developed a rapid, new method to diagnose seed quality non-invasively and in real time. The results are published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and have great significance for conservation ecology and agriculture. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0914197107

By using infrared temperature measurement, seed viability results are achieved in less than two hours. Until now time-consuming germination tests, taking up to three days, were used to assess seed quality. Conventional tests are also destructive, which is not ideal when assessing the seeds of rare and endangered plants.

Dr. Ilse Kranner, from Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, and Prof. Gerald Kastberger (University of Graz, Austria) found that infrared cameras can be used to detect subtle changes in temperature when seeds take up water. These changes vary with viability.

The thermal profiles of hundreds of garden pea seeds (Pisum sativum) were recorded. For each individual seed 22,000 images were analysed to construct a library of "thermal fingerprints" that allowed the scientists to distinguish between viable and dead seeds in less than two hours.

When a dry seed takes up water, the sugar within the seed dissolves, and this process cools the seed down. The temperature of a single pea seed falls rapidly by 2 to 3C. Viable seeds maintain cool temperatures because they break down storage reserves into sugar.

In aged seeds, certain biophysical properties are affected that determine the speed of water uptake. Aged seeds also fail to break down their reserves, or can only break them down after a phase of repair, delaying the thermal profile. To date such processes were studied with destructive methods that involved grinding up seeds, whereas the new infrared-based method is a breakthrough in the non-invasive diagnosis of seed quality. It means viable seeds can be separated, re-dried and stored again.

Non-invasive techniques are widely used in medicine, for example CT scans of the body, and some airports also use infrared cameras to detect fever in passengers.

Importantly, the opportunity to select live and dead seeds prior to germination is a useful tool to improve studies into the fundamental principles of ageing and cell death, which are similar in plants, animals and humans. This research can potentially be applied in areas such as cancer research.

Wheat (Triticum aestivum) and rape seeds (Brassica napus) were also studied by the British-Austrian team to provide a proof of concept for agricultural seeds.

The seeds of 10% of the world's wild plant flora are safeguarded at Kew's Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place in West Sussex, with the aim to conserve a maximum of plant diversity for future generations.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ilse Kranner
i.kranner@kew.org
44-014-448-94157
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Insect wranglers invade the garden at Southwestern science EXPO
2. Gardeners must unite to save Britains wildlife
3. Like humans, ants use bacteria to make their gardens grow
4. Missouri Botanical Garden hosts historic meeting to discuss endangered plants in the Caucasus region
5. NOAA report finds flower garden banks sanctuary reefs among healthiest in Gulf
6. Photoselective film proves effective for controlling height in potted gardenia plants
7. Food security for leaf-cutting ants: Workers and their fungus garden reject endophyte invaders
8. Gardening gives older adults benefits like hand strength and self-esteem
9. Gardening gives older adults benefits like hand strength and self esteem
10. Missouri Botanical Garden publishes first catalogue of plants of the Southern Cone
11. Missouri Botanical Garden mounts milestone 6 millionth herbarium specimen
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017 ... company that supports the entire spectrum of clinical ... been another record-breaking year for the organization in ... interest in MedNet,s eClinical products and services. The ... tremendous marketplace success of iMedNet ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... NEW YORK , Jan. 12, 2017  New research ... around the office of the future.  1,000 participants were simply ... last three months which we may consider standard issue.  Insights ... office of 2017 were also gathered from futurists and industry ... and Dr. James Canton .  Some ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. , Jan. 11, 2017  Michael Johnson, ... from Foundation Venture Capital Group, Inc., has been named to the ... Johnson, 27,  was one of 600 people in 20 fields ... only four percent of the 15,000 applicants were selected. ... He is currently a PhD ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... India , Jan. 19, 2017  Market Research Future has ... Global Market for Liquid Biopsy is growing rapidly and expected to ... Market Highlights ... The Global Liquid Biopsy Market has been assessed as a ... growth figures and boom in the coming future. There has been ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan 19, 2017 Research and Markets ... has announced the addition of ... Material, Application - Forecast to 2025" report to their ... The report provides a detailed analysis on current and ... forecasts till 2025, using estimated market values as the base numbers ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... and GAITHERSBURG, Md. , Jan. ... and Altimmune, Inc., a privately-held immunotherapeutics company targeting ... definitive agreement for the merger of PharmAthene and ... include Novartis Venture Fund, HealthCap, Truffle Capital and ... fully-integrated and diversified immunotherapeutics company with four clinical ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... The ... (NIH) to update its Data Sharing Policy. Specifically, the nation’s leading informatics experts, ... subject to the existing policy. AMIA recommended that NIH earmark funding for researchers ...
Breaking Biology Technology: